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The Boy In The Suitcase (Nina Borg #1)

3.60  ·  Rating Details  ·  24,128 Ratings  ·  2,640 Reviews
Nina Borg, a Red Cross nurse, wife, and mother of two, is a compulsive do-gooder who can't say no when someone asks for help—even when she knows better. When her estranged friend Karin leaves her a key to a public locker in the Copenhagen train station, Nina gets suckered into her most dangerous project yet. Inside the locker is a suitcase, and inside the suitcase is a thr ...more
Published November 8th 2011 (first published 2008)
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LeAnne You can absolutely read this as a stand alone. You could do the same with the others, however Nina has some quirks about her personality that are…moreYou can absolutely read this as a stand alone. You could do the same with the others, however Nina has some quirks about her personality that are hinted at throughout and then explained near the end of "Suitcase." I would recommend reading this before the others - her motivations will be more meaningful.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Dec 02, 2011 Aubrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Liz Mathews, Ingrid Powell, Ron Hogan, Guy Gonzalez, Trudy Russell & Jenny Arch
Recommended to Aubrey by: Juliet Grames
First I have to say---what a tremendous book! I don't usually read thrillers---I usually find them too stressful to read on top of everything else I have to deal with in life---and also the title threw me off initially because reading about atrocities done to children is not something I want to read about (if the last bit throws you off too, take it from me as someone who can't read that sort of stuff, you will be surprised when you open this book what it actually turns out to be---I can't say m ...more
Nov 05, 2015 Doreen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A three-year old Lithuanian boy is kidnapped;his single mother tries desperately to find him. Meanwhile, in Denmark, a nurse named Nina Borg finds him in a suitcase and sets out to find his family. Will mother and child be reunited?

The point of view skips between various characters and countries. The effect is to create suspense: how will all these characters be brought together? The multiple perspectives also humanize the characters, even the villains.

My problem with the book is the character
I liked the story line but that's about it. I don't think it was executed well enough for my tastes or maybe I am judging this book rather harshly after just reading two great books. This is a list of problems I had with this book:
1)I did not like the way the characters were introduced in the book.
2)I do not like keeping track off too many characters that just kept cropping out at the beginning of the book without any idea of how they related to one other.
3)Every chapter was a new character w
Miamikel SS
May 19, 2013 Miamikel SS rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Remember "it was a dark and stormy night ..." the headline that grabs your attention and leaves you a little jumpy, wondering what's around the next corner? That's THIS book! I loved this book literally AT THE TITLE.

I wanted to know - what boy? Why was he in a suitcase? Alive? Or Not?

This book is John Hart meets Stieg Larsson! Even though this book started out a bit confusing - the characters are jumbled together and introduced a little haphazardly, I found that part of the intrique! It does st
This is just what I needed right now. I've been in such a reading slump that I feel like everything that I've tried to read has just dragged on forever. I don't know if it's the new job or what, but it's been making me crazy to feel like I've been going through the motions of reading without actually feeling or caring about most of what I've read. There've been exceptions, but it's mostly just been a slog of book after book that I just want to be done with so I can try something else.

So this wa
Kirsten *Dogs Welcome - People Tolerated"
An excellent book! What is about the Scandinavian/Northern European mystery/thriller writers?

This book is set in Denmark and the main character is an aid nurse dealing with immigrants. Immigrants in Europe are a touchy subject, a bit like the Hispanic/Mexican illegal immigrants to this country.

The story deals with dark topics and is very gritty. Much grittier, I have to admit, than my view of what Denmark is really like.

A boy is found in a suitcase. What was he doing there? Who put him there?
Lance Charnes
Feb 18, 2012 Lance Charnes rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Scandinavian noir
Shelves: fiction-crime
The Boy in the Suitcase is yet another entry in the growing catalog of Scandinoir coming to these shores, and in many ways fits the general pattern: a socially maladapted protagonist, evil doings involving underage victims, societal rot, Eastern European villains, heat waves. That its central figure isn’t a police detective doesn’t move it very far out of the middle of this particular stream.

Nina Borg (that protagonist) is a Danish Red Cross nurse who allows herself to be badgered by her slightl
The Boy in the Suitcase is yet another Scandinavian crime novel (this one from Denmark), and it's a solid thriller, but there's nothing that makes it too terribly memorable with the exception of the nearly unbelievable stupidity of one of the main characters, Nina Borg.

Nina is an educated woman, a nurse, but time after time in this novel, she makes unbelievably stupid decisions. Of course, had she made common-sense choices--nothing requiring great wisdom, just simple common sense--then there wou
Tom Mathews
This is my first Nina Borg story and may not be the last. The plot and the characters were interesting but the mystery took all of a minute to figure out. My biggest concern about the story is that I found myself thinking of the story based on the Hitchcock term McGuffin, which is an object whose sole importance is its ability to drive the story's plot forward. Party A steals the McGuffin from Party B. Party C ends up with the McGuffin and tries to find where it belongs while keeping it away fro ...more
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Rate 2 stars. Nina Borg, Red Cross nurse, wife and mother of two to the rescue! Reviewer's continually compare this to Steig Larson’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Both are action packed by respected Danish authors. It is a really satisfying account of the rescue of an abducted child. My low rating is based on the writing style rather than the plot. It did not flow well, choppy and difficult to follow. In any event it’s still worth reading if this is your genre. ...more
Nov 01, 2012 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another entry in the Scandinavian mystery/thriller category. This one was very good and not nearly as violent as Steig Larsson's first book (I prefer the lower violence levels). Will read the next book then see if this is a series I want to stick with. This book had lots of characters moving in and out. I did not pay close enough attention to this in the beginning, so sometimes was confused about who was related to whom. I'll do better on the next book!
Aubrey rated it did not like it
May 06, 2014
Syahira Sharif
Mar 18, 2012 Syahira Sharif rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: like thriller and the "hattar kvinnor" dark world in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I read this book WHILE I WAS AT DISNEY WORLD, and if you know me, and you know how much I love Disney World, you'll know that's pretty darn significant.

This was not a story I devoured all in one go, like a box of Sugar Babies. I found myself stopping every few chapters, not because I wanted to think about it consciously, but it kind of felt like the story was simmering way back at the base of my brain, like when you put on a batch of ham-and-potato-and-cheese soup in the slow cooker allll day s
Dec 02, 2012 Katsumi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've just finished reading The Boy in the Suitcase and boy what a book, what a thriller, what a story.
The characters are very well described and it's pretty easy to understand who is who despite some of the reviews I read here.
The action and the atmophere are very well described too and it's full of suspense, twists and turns.
But the thing that I liked the most is the fact that many of the actions described in the story seem to be motivated out of love, even the actions that are all but noble. O
Moonlight Reader
Read for Battleship, WOBBLE challenge, NBRC group.
May 23, 2015 Gordana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Predobra!!!! ;)
Feb 06, 2012 Carol rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting title but convoluted story line (and not in a good way). I kept waiting for something more interesting to unfold. 2 1/2 stars.
The Boy in the Suitcase is the first in a new "Nordic Noir" thriller/mystery series by Lene Kaaberbøl. The setting is Denmark. One of the reasons I love these "Nordic Noir" books is that they smash many of the stereotypes I didn't even realize I held about the ideal state of the Scandinavian countries and their welcoming position to all people-citizens and otherwise.

Wherever do I pick up these ideas?

Nina Borg is a nurse who works with the displaced, Denmark's unwanted immigrants and poor. Her ne
Gail Cooke
Sep 19, 2011 Gail Cooke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This was my introduction to authors Kaaberbol and Friis, and it was a wowser! Their intricate plotting, clean, tight, sometimes visceral prose, and characters about whom we care all combine to form an unforgettable thriller, the first in the Nina Borg trilogy.

A Red Cross nurse, Nina is an inveterate do-gooder with an unshakable belief that she can make almost anything better, much to the chagrin of her husband. This combined with her role as a wife and mother often presents her with frightenin
Diane S ☔
Dec 03, 2011 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When the book first starts it is a little confusing, trying to figure out who is in what country, but easier as the book goes on and more is revealed. Very well written, with building suspense and a slow reveal. Although what is going on we know from the beginning but the why of it remains a mystery until almost the end.
aPriL does feral sometimes
Gentle reader, I feel I wasted the hours I spent reading this novel. However, you may feel quite different and love the thrills and chills, of which the plot provides much quite satisfactorily. Mothers with tots who love 'child in danger - mom fights back ferociously' thrillers may get some happiness, I don't know. I watch and enjoy some Lifetime Channel movies too (don't judge me), so I know many females have a liking for 'mom hunts down the MF who took my kid' plots. Of course, there are all o ...more
Mar 26, 2015 Marla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
I saw some of the reviews this book was receiving so I decided to the audio version. Boy was I not disappointed. Katherine Kellgren is a phenomenal reader. I can see why she has won awards. She has gone above and beyond with taking voice lessons working on accents. She brings Nina Borg to life along with the other characters. This is a very well written story not only about Nina but about 3-year-old Mikas who is abducted from his mother Sigita Ramoskiene. The story takes place in Denmark and Lit ...more
Sep 11, 2012 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing, 2012
Nina, the heroine nurse of the story, is asked by a friend of hers to pick a suitcase for her. She discovers a young boy in the suitcase, and instead of acting like a logical person (such as, calling the police for finding the owner of said drugged three year old), she decides to play a detective and find herself where the boy belongs. She discovers early on that there are some really bad guys after the toddler too, so she flees.
A great start, but it takes forever to get to real action (like mat
Jul 09, 2013 Radostina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books
I came across this book in a Scandinavian literature list here on Goodreads, and the blurb immediately drew my attention. Having spent some time in Denmark, I still have a soft spot for all things Danish, so this book looked like a treat for me. Turns out, it’s a very good story and quite an enjoyable read. It also tackles some very important phenomena in our society, which should be discussed more often and more openly because in one way or another, they affect the very tissue society is made o ...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Nina Borg is a Red Cross nurse who works at a clinic by day and by night helps hundreds of illegal immigrants hiding across Denmark. With a history of abruptly leaving her husband Morten and their two young kids for stints in refugee camps in Africa, Nina is passionate, caring and driven to help the unfortunate. When her old friend Karin calls her with an urgent request one day, Nina doesn't say no. Karin gives her a key for a locker at the Copenhagen train station which contains a suitcase. And ...more
Oct 10, 2011 Alla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“The boy in the suitcase” by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis is a Scandinavian mystery, following the lives of different characters as a little boy, Mikas, is kidnapped, put in a suitcase, and picked up by the unsuspecting Red Cross nurse, Nina Borg. While Nina has no clue what to do with the boy, one thing is clear as she sees an enraged man with a Nazi haircut beating the locker where the suitcase had lain: they are both in danger.

The same danger is felt acutely by Sigita, Mikas’s mother, afte
Feb 04, 2015 Kirstin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-to-z-challenge
A fast-paced, engaging mystery/thriller. The title drew me in and I was hooked by the first page. Not a dull moment in the book. I would recommend The Boy in the Suitcase to any fan of crime fiction. 4 suspenseful stars!
Mar 06, 2012 Carmen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this would be a great book for the beach, unfortunately once you started it, you would never make it out to the beach. Its that good. Fast paced, great read.
Sep 17, 2014 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Human trafficking has been much in the news lately, and this crime is rampant in Eastern and Northern Europe since the demise of the USSR left such a vacuum in its wake. In The Boy in the Suitcase, it's a three year old who's been kidnapped. His mother fears that he will be sexually abused, but, if possible, the fate planned by the kidnappers is even worse. Red Cross nurse and humanitarian Nina Borg discovers the child stashed in a locker at the train station, and begins a quest to rescue him an ...more
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concept of "family" in The Boy in the Suitcase 1 18 Jul 13, 2013 02:38PM  
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More about Lene Kaaberbøl...

Other Books in the Series

Nina Borg (4 books)
  • Invisible Murder (Nina Borg, #2)
  • Death of a Nightingale (Nina Borg, #3)
  • The Considerate Killer (Nina Borg, #4)

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“She felt as if she was standing at the edge of an abyss, but she was in no way counting on God to rescue her. On the contrary. I don’t believe in any of it. Not anymore.” 4 likes
“If the boy did have a good and loving mother somewhere, surely they would find her.

God only knew how she wanted to believe it. Every single day, she practiced her detachment skills, trying not to care about everything that was wrong with the world. Or care, but in a suitably civilized manner, with an admirable commitment that might still be set aside when she came home to Morten and her family, complete with well-reasoned and coherent opinions of the humanist persuasion. Right now she felt more like one of those manic women from the animal protection societies, with wild hair and ever wilder eyes. Desperate.”
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